[With E3 just ahead, GamePlan Insights analyst Nick Williams tells Gamasutra which released and upcoming console/PC retail titles are leading awareness and purchase intent among U.S. gamers for the month of April 2010.]
First-party exclusives continue to dominate the GamePlan Insights charts for titles that U.S. gamers intend to purchase in the near/medium future -- although the titles are separated by significant release windows.
Nintendo's Super Mario Galaxy 2 is the most immediate title launch, and the latest OTX tracking data shows that nearly 1 in 4 Wii gamers plans to purchase the title at some point.
The latest Mario installment also has the highest 'Recession Proof Index' of any titles currently being tracked, meaning that it is most frequently chosen as a top-three purchase consideration on gamers' wishlists.
Halo: Reach and Gears of War 3, ranked first and third respectively, are battling for the most anticipated Xbox 360 title. Unsurprisingly, there is a large overlap between the audience of these two marquee shooter franchises.
52 percent of those who plan to buy Halo: Reach also plan to buy Gears of War 3, and 51 percent of those who plan to buy Gears of War 3 also plan to buy Halo: Reach.
Given this massive overlap in franchise audience, it is important that Microsoft create some distance between the two releases to avoid cannibalizing sales.
On the PC front, Blizzard franchises appear to be stronger than ever, with three titles in the top 15. While there is no denying the importance of online social/casual games, the impressive levels of purchase intent for Diablo III, Starcraft II, and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm suggest that the traditional PC gamer is alive and well.
Here's the full charts for the month of April 2010, created by polling around 4,000 U.S. gamers on the titles they intend to buy:
As for purchase intent for already-released title, Sony's God of War III dominates the list, with more than five times the average purchase intent of titles that have already released in 2010. This bodes well for its continued sales performance.
In fact, combined with the strong performance of Final Fantasy XIII, ranked second, the PlayStation 3 has a great deal of momentum heading into the summer months.
Here's the list of already-debuted console and PC retail games by consumer purchase intent during April 2010: